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37



chosen If he is suitable. Anyone may suggest chief-candidate.

The suggestion would be carefully debated. Generally, people ate

reluctant to take up the onerous responsibilities''^ the chief. So9

several persons decline the offer, After much discussion, a con-

sensus is arrived at and a unanimous decision is taken. The person

elected as chief will assume office immediately,



But the authority  of the chief is being eroded by the

entry of political parties into the village.   Moyyi Somulu, the

chief, was defied by the  village elders who have a large

who belong to the congress party.   Somulu, being a protagonist

of Telugu Desam Party whose influence has waned in tMs area,

was given scant respect.   His decisions were not implemented-

Every one of his acts was criticised and condemned by a

of the people.   In disgust* Somuiii expressed his desire to step



down. This was taken literally. At the general assembly. Somulu

laid down his office after functioning as the Chief for several

years. All this happened a few months ago.



Now, the Yajamani is Gedela Bangarayya, the son of a

former chief. He is ignorant. He cannot speak a word. But he

was elected by the general assembly as chief because Congress

leaders of Bobbiii town gave them enormous quantity of liquor.

The chief, now,, is a puppet in the hands of petty leaders of the

Congress Party in this village.



Thus, the politics of the plains people have influenced the



election of the Chief in recent months. But this does not affect

the fact that the status of the tribal head, namely, the Yajamani, is

as high as ever, even now, provided that he commands the confi-

dence of the people. In truth, Somulu became unpopular first.

He was therefore made to step down.



The duties of the chief in the tribal set-up are manifold.